Trial Date Set for Groundbreaking Kids’ Climate Lawsuit

A trial date of Oct. 29 has been set for a landmark climate change lawsuit brought by a group of young Americans despite the Trump administration’s efforts to halt the case.

Juliana v. United States was filed in 2015 on behalf of 21 plaintiffs who ranged between 8 to 19 years old at the time. They allege their constitutional and public trust rights are being violated by the government’s creation of a national energy system that causes dangerous climate change.

The trial will be heard before U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene, Oregon, according to Our Children’s Trust, the non-profit group supporting the plaintiffs. Aiken joined the court in 1998 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.

“We have our trial date. In the coming months there will be depositions of the parties, defendants’ disclosure of their experts, and expert depositions in late summer. We will build a full factual record for trial so that the Court can make the best informed decision in this crucial constitutional case,” said Julia Olson, executive director of Our Children’s Trust and co-lead counsel for the youth plaintiffs, in a statement.

The lawsuit was originally filed against President Obama’s government before President Trump took office. Incidentally, just days before the case was turned over to the Trump administration, Obama’s Justice Department lawyers admitted many of the young plaintiff’s scientific claims were true, including carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have increased to greater than 400 parts per million.

Additionally, the federal defendants admitted that fossil fuel extraction, development and consumption produce CO2 emissions and that past emissions of CO2 from such activities have increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2.

The Trump administration sought an appeal of the case, but last month, a three-judge panel with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied the White House’s writ of mandamus petition, a rarely used legal maneuver…

Read more